NEW YORK -- You could talk about a lot of things that are wrong with the Yankees. You could go on and on about the age of this $200 million-plus roster. You could lament how they have failed to hit all season. You could be concerned about Alex Rodriguez’s latest injury.
But the biggest issue with this last-place team right now and for the future is Luis Severino. He looks nothing like a future ace, which is a worrying thought for this franchise if it has any hope of turning its 2016 season around, but it is an even worse image for what it could mean for the future if this is real and not just a tough part of his maturation.
Severino, 22, went six innings, allowed four runs on five hits, and was entirely too hittable in the Yankees’ 4-1 loss to the Orioles on Tuesday. Mark Trumbo squared up two balls for homers, while many of Baltimore's outs were hit hard.
Not only was Severino too hittable, but he couldn't field. On two occasions, he dropped flips at first from Mark Teixeira. The second time, it cost him a run. It might have been just a coincidence, or he may be flustered by his lack of success.
What is certain is that this is not what the Yankees expected entering this season. The expectation was that Severino would grow and possibly even unseat Masahiro Tanaka as the Yankees' ace. Instead, opponents are hitting .333 against Severino. That is the third-worst mark in all of baseball.
If you strip all the hype off of Severino's 11 strong rookie starts, there would be little doubt that the Yankees would be heavily considering sending him down to Triple-A. Even with the hype, it may be the right move. He is 0-4 with a 6.31 ERA after five starts.
The Yankees desperately want Severino to regain his 2015 form, but you can't just wish it to make it true. With a season quickly spiraling out of control -- the Yankees lost their sixth straight Tuesday and are 8-16 – and given their recent failures with top starting pitching prospects, there is surely a desire to have Severino stay up.
But he is young, talented and the future. With that in mind, it may be best that his present is at Triple-A Scranton so he can get right for the future of this franchise.